Why Are Internships Important?
As a junior accounting student at Gannon University, I found myself in a difficult situation. At Gannon, all business students are required to do an internship to graduate. However, getting an internship was something that I struggled to do. I spent countless hours perfecting my resume with scholastic accolades that I thought for sure would make me stand out from other internship applicants. While my strong academic performance was important, I found that the one thing that seemed to be more important on a resume was experience. This was the one thing that I did not have over those who were getting internships with public accounting firms. I eventually went on to accept an internship with a local bank. Although this was not exactly my ideal internship, it provided me with experience that helped build my resume up for future job/internship applications. Now that I had some accounting experience, I applied for internships at public accounting firms the following summer and went on to accept an intern position with Schneider Downs. Accepting this position was by far one of the best decisions I have made in my young professional career. My internship with Schneider Downs has given me the professional experience that will build the foundation of my public accounting career. While at Schneider Downs, I have been fortunate enough to work with amazing people who all work towards one common goal: “working together every day to make our firm, clients, and communities better.”
Internships are not only important for gaining experience, but also for gaining knowledge of the accounting profession. Throughout my undergraduate schooling at Gannon University, I recall numerous people telling me that I will learn much more from experience than my actual classwork. Prior to my internship with Schneider Downs, I found such statements hard to believe. However, it did not take long before I realized how much knowledge there is to be gained through an internship experience. I can honestly say that I have seemed to gain more knowledge from my internship with Schneider Downs than I did during my entire four years in the undergraduate accounting program at Gannon University. I now have much stronger knowledge of the entire audit process. This is knowledge that will allow me to better serve the clients of Schneider Downs. My favorite aspect of Schneider Downs is the way in which they use their professional knowledge to get to know their clients better and provide them with accounting expertise to make their clients’ businesses better. Overall, the knowledge that I have gained through hands-on work at Schneider Downs has reassured me that public accounting is the right career choice for me. I cannot thank the employees and clients of Schneider Downs enough for making my internship experience enjoyable and worthwhile. The knowledge and experience that I have gained will stay with me forever as I continue my career in public accounting.
Lastly, I would just like to provide those in search of an internship and future interns of Schneider Downs with some advice. For those in search of an internship, take advantage of the resources that your college or university has to offer. Career services should be your best friend when it comes time for job/internship searching. Also, always keep your resume up-to-date; you never know when you are going to meet someone who works for a company that is in search of an intern. Keeping your resume up-to-date allows for you to send your resume out in a timely manner. For those who will be interns for Schneider Downs in the future, invest your time wisely and keep an open mind. The people at Schneider Downs all have a seemingly endless amount of public accounting knowledge to share. They are also very willing to share such knowledge with you. Whenever you are on a job, be sure to take advantage of their willingness to teach you; do not ever hesitate to ask a question. Lastly, you will be given meaningful tasks to complete. Do not panic, but rather embrace the opportunity at hand and use it as a way of learning about how businesses are run.